“Being A Less-Than-Perfect Parent”: 75 Things Men Can Get Away With But Women Can’t, As Shared By People Online

It’s 2023. Spain is providing women with menstrual leave, female professional athletes in the US are finally receiving the same salaries as their male counterparts, and Scotland has passed a bill requiring free menstrual products to be available in public restrooms. Alongside all of the wins women have recently had, however, we still have a long way to go in creating a truly equal society.

One curious Reddit user recently asked people to share things that are socially acceptable for men to do that women face unfair judgment for, so below, you’ll find some of their most prevalent responses, as well as conversations we were lucky enough to have with the person who posed this question and the host of Feminist Talks with Nandar.

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Expressing anger. If you’re mad, you’re either a harpish shrew, a crazy b***h, or hormonal.

Promiscuity, in fact, I’ve never once in my life heard that word applied to a man. Only women are considered “Promiscuous”


‘babysit’ your own kids. Thankfully it’s falling out of favour but the amount of times my dad got asked by our family if he was ‘babysitting’ us while my mum was busy was wild. No, he’s not babysitting us, he’s being a parent. My mum never got asked if she was ‘babysitting’ us while dad was busy.

Image credits: Yaboijustlikesgoats

If you’re a woman, many of the responses on this list will come as no surprise to you. We tend to become desensitized to the double standards we encounter often because it’s exhausting to expend energy being constantly frustrated about them or engaging in heated discussions with individuals who deny their existence. But it’s important to keep talking about these issues to ensure that one day our children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren won’t have to experience them.

To learn more about how this particular conversation started in the first place, we reached out to the Reddit user who invited others to share things that are socially acceptable for men to do but frowned upon when women do them, and he was kind enough to have a chat with Bored Panda. “My main goal [when creating this post] was to find comebacks that use logic against transphobia,” he shared.

And when it comes to how many of these inequalities he has seen first-hand, the OP said, “I haven’t really observed many of them in my lifetime, but they do bother me.” He went on to suppose that people tend to underestimate one gender due to “traditional roles that are deeply rooted” in many of us.


Not wanting to have kids, if you’re a woman who decided to be child free people will call you lonely, selfish, and act like you’re wasting your life because apparently all women are here for is breeding. Once you’re 40-50 with no kids, society will insist you regret your decision not to have kids & will end up lonely with nobody in your life & 50 cats!

Image credits: koosmal


Being dedicated to your work and missing time with your kids

Image credits: highwaybound

We also reached out to Nandar, host of Feminist Talks With Nandar, to hear her thoughts on the topic. “I think it is important to also discuss what men are not taught to do that women are forced to do because both affect us negatively,” she told Bored Panda. “I grew up in a small village in Shan State Myanmar with two brothers who had the freedom to do whatever they wanted to do when they wanted to. For example, I would have to help do the household chores after the school break, while my brothers would hang out with their friends or play football. I did not like doing household chores, but I had to. Why? ‘Because I am a girl’ was the answer to that and so many other questions.”

“I was not allowed to go out at night or sleepover at a friend’s house when my brothers could,” Nandar went on to share. “I was also not allowed to wear the clothes that I wanted to wear. One time, when I was wearing a short skirt up to my knees, my brother made me go change immediately. Since then, I stopped wearing short skirts for over a decade. After I got my first period, I was scolded by my uncle not to do any sports, because it is ‘not appropriate for men to see a grown woman’ do that. (This implies that my body is growing, and men won’t be able to control themselves around woman). I gave up doing anything jumpy or sporty from then on. Enjoying and liking sex is another huge taboo in our culture. If a man talks about how he likes sex and has done it, people praise him for it. But when a woman even slightly mentions that she is curious about sex, she becomes a slut in society’s definition.”


Letting body hair grow.

Image credits: Lil_Brown_Bat


Frowning, or even failing to smile *all the time*. My husband was shocked when I told him how often a man tells me to smile when I’m just going about my business.

Image credits: Dandibear

“The world we live in, as of now, is deeply patriarchy, which means the rules are set by and for men to enjoy their full rights while controlling women’s choices and bodies as they please,” Nandar went on to explain. “Of course, things are slowly progressing because of the feminist movement around the world. These double standards exists because men feel the need to control women’s lives, so that they can continue dominating in every aspects of their lives. It isn’t fair, and it is because of these kinds of injustices that feminism was born and feminists like us are continuing to fight for our human rights to remove the patriarchy system and build a fairer world.”

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EATING ANOTHER SLICE OF PIZZA (or other food stuff.)

The amount of times I’ve sat in a meeting warring with myself about how I’ll be judged for having another food item is just sad.

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Shaving your head. I do it a couple times a year and find it completely freeing. But have been judged for it by some. “Real women don’t shave their head” kind of thing. Why not?

Image credits: Obi1NotWan

When it comes to how we can dismantle the patriarchy and remove these double standards, Nandar says women should refuse to conform to these arbitrary expectations. “I used to follow all these norms and standards despite the fact that it was making me deeply unhappy and confused. I thought that conforming to the norms is the way to achieve being a ‘good girl’ because I wanted to matter in society, but gradually, because of access to the right education, I was enlightened enough not to do that,” she noted.

“The double standards and cultures do not serve us in anyway. They don’t give any benefits or rights to grow fully as a person. In order for one to live fully, one must exercise their rights fully,” Nandar continued. “This applies to all genders. Men must learn to give up their entitlement over women’s choices and bodies and realize that [we] are not something for them to take control of. Unlearn and relearn how you define masculinity because that is what has often led men to think that they are in full control of women’s lives. Without both parties (men and women) participation, it won’t be possible to remove the double standards that have become [part of our] culture.”


Bragging about how many people you’ve slept with

Image credits: mssleepyhead73


I’ve gotten the dumbest comments from people about doing things that aren’t “womanly” lol … Someone commented that my deodorant scent was masculine and I should be wearing woman’s deodorant once. Like, sorry I’d rather not spend twice the money for Secret when I could get a cheap-a*s speed stick that just smells like pine trees.

Image credits: xxx_Moritz_xxx

Nandar went on to share some wise words for women who are unfairly judged for these innocent actions. “This is advice I would give to my younger self: Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, even if people around you are making you feel bad for it,” she told Bored Panda. “Be yourself. Stand up for what you believe, even if you are alone. Your voice matters. When you are standing up for yourself, you are standing up for generations of women before and after you. You may not know or feel like that right now, but it matters. Do and say what makes you feel best.”

“Do not be afraid of question the norms,” she continued. “The main reason these harmful ideas continue existing is because we don’t question them enough. When we question, we also make those who follow these ideas blindly think. Lastly, do not let anyone or any culture define you. What you do defines you, not your culture or your family. You can make the changes you wish to see.”


When my husband cries in public he literally gets complements for being so “brave” … When I do it I get asked if it’s “that time of the month”


Welding. My mother had a hell of a time just trying to do her job without guys messing with her and thinking either she’s stupid or doesn’t know what she’s doing even though they went through the same classes and she’s been doing it longer then most

Image credits: Kittiem85

Nandar also urges all of the men out there to be allies to women. “Don’t be silent when you see injustice,” she says. “Don’t ignore or assume that you have nothing to do with it. You are part of the society and culture that harms women’s lives and choices, and you must stand up for them because you are on the other side of the coin. We need to hold hands and change the system, not let the system change us.”

If you’d like to hear more words of wisdom from Nandar, be sure to check out her podcast, Feminist Talks With Nandar right here!


Doing jobs that require physical strength or were once considered “manly” like being a mechanic, firefighter, etc.

Edit: Yes, I know men are stronger and there’s evidence backing it. Women can still be capable. Some of you need to realize that some people work out.

Image credits: Best_Bisexual


Be in charge of their reproductive organs.


Sitting in a bar alone.

Image credits: Severnrose


Be angry

Image credits: sto_brohammed


Wearing the same outfit multiple times in a week.


Fart and/or burp. Times 2 if at the same time.

Image credits: fishingandstuff


Serving yourself a mountain of food at dinner

Image credits: cullens_sidepiece


F*****g drinking. Men can drink beer all day long and no one comments on it but if a woman has a glass of wine every night before bed or a couple beers when out with friends, she’s an alcoholic and a bad influence. I don’t even drink but Louisianans like to party so I know quite a few people who do and there are several of the women who are treated this way amongst our peers. It’s ridiculous.


Letting your hair go naturally grey before you’re very old.

Image credits: queenie_sabrina


-Speak uninterrupted, and point it out without being negatively judged.
-Not worry about birth control.
-Ask for a raise.
-Be assertive.



As in rejecting men, opinions, theories. Anything, really. Men do it all the time, unconsciously even.

Women have lost their lives over this.


Weirdly, camping. I like to camp alone because it’s very therapeutic. My family scowls when I talk about it. When husband camps alone, he gets pats on the back and survivalist discussions. When I do, people look at him like he’s failing and I get comments on safety.


Putting on weight


I have been surprised to discover that it’s not 100% socially acceptable for women to continue working after having a baby while the babies father stays home. I’ve gotten more than a few negative comments about it. So has my partner. Did not expect that to still be an issue for people.


Negotiate pay. Numerous scientific research studies have shown that even when male and female actors negotiate the same exact way (e.g., same verbiage, same voice inflections, etc.) study participants (regardless of gender) view the female negotiators more negatively.

Image credits: sugamantha


Doing our own home repairs or knowing about and working on cars.

Speaking up in a meeting as the only woman present.

Expressing a point of view different from the majority.

Been there, done all of these.


Succeeding in life. Oftentimes, if you are a success at your job or whatever, people will ask if your dad helped you or if your boyfriend/husband helped you or if you’re sleeping with your boss.

Image credits: grpenn


Being a less than perfect parent.
If you’re a firm disciplinarian with your kids that means you’re mean and controlling. It’s ok for dads to be “strict” but moms are judged (usually by other moms). The same thing goes for moms that are too lenient (people laugh about dad letting little Suzie have ice cream for dinner) and anything else mom related in general.

Image credits: snappingturtleteach


My family is in a community theatre group. During a production/stage design meeting, my husband picked up a staple gun and began playing with it, even shooting it toward someone’s foot (intentionally missing, he’s not trying to hurt anyone). He was surprised that the women and girls in the room were shocked by that behavior. “It was just FUN!” He said. I explained that women and girls are expected to be more mature. I explained that there’s a prevailing view that girls mature faster than boys, but really it’s just the expectation that we’ll be better behaved. Turned the other way, we’re simply not allowed to have that kind of “fun”, nearly from birth. Boys are not only allowed to be rambunctious and wild, but are encouraged to do so. If a girl or woman is either, she’s “undisciplined”, “uncouth”, or “out of control”.


Being single in general i think is more socially acceptable for guys.


Be unable to change a diaper.

Image credits: h2ogal


Interestingly enough, there’s a double standard about gender roles in general. It is absolutely okay for a man to be seeking a woman who wants children and subscribes to traditional gender roles. He is described as a “family man” or a guy with “good morals.” On the flipside, if a woman says she is looking for a provider or someone who can offer financial stability, she is usually labeled a “gold-digger” or even lazy.

(To be clear, I am not saying people should live by gender norms. I don’t want kids, and I love working, and I get excited for my friends who want to raise families! I’m happy we have options!)


My ex’s family would split up after dinner. All the men would go into another room and the women in the other. I wanted to carry on a conversation I was having with F in law about formula 1 racing and followed him. I got a total look of disapproval. Reminded them it wasn’t victorian times and I’ll do what the hell i like!


Disagree with an opinion.


Getting sweaty besides at the gym.


Weaponized incompetence, walking out on their families, mansplaining. There are so many things


Nipple display


Scratching or adjusting their privates


Missing major family events like birthdays, games. Gatherings, graduation. If the dad is working it’s accepted. If a mother is working it’s neglect


Talk directly and assertively. Have opinions ( in general), especially ideas to improve a process or function that isn’t related to housecleaning and child rearing. Join men conversing about scientific, mechanical, or computing/technology. Sleep with someone who you aren’t married to. Wear practical clothes or have short hair. Skip makeup. Disagree with a male coworker, especially if a supervisor.


Sexual promiscuity. Normal bodily functions. Putting their career before their family/not wanting a family. Not wanting to have children. Not wanting marriage. Being single in general – “when are you going to find a nice man?” ![gif](emote|free_emotes_pack|facepalm)


Talk about their sex life or how promiscuous they are.

Doing DIY, or lifting anything heavy.


Showing any emotion other than happiness, love, or sadness. Or conversely, displaying no emotions, because in women it’s seen as being angry, upset, or aggressive.


Going shirtless.


Women doing tec jobs or anything STEM related, having more money then their husband or being the main provider for the family, being better at sports/weight lifting, playing dungeons and dragons, playing computer games or any other type of games, playing to rough with kids, being a lawyer/police officer/fireman, owning property and asking the husband to marry her rather than just waiting for him to ask the woman.


Letting herself go. It’s socially acceptable for a man to have a “dad bod” or be chubby, but once a woman does this, she gets called endless insults.

Men get praised for sleeping with multiple women, if a woman sleeps with multiple guys she’s deemed a s**t, whore, etc.


Disagree without apology


Walk alone at night in many places.

Which is actually not be scared that you’re going to get raped.

Not saying that men don’t get raped. I’m saying that it’s not something men worry about when walking alone.


As “white knight” as this will come off, any trades job. Mechanic, plumber, carpenter, etc… A lot of people immediately assume it’s a man’s job that a woman absolutely knows nothing about


Exist, basically.


The way we sit. Men take up more physical space than women typically do with the way legs are positioned.


Sex.women get called s***s


Choosing to not marry or be child-free.


Having armpit hair


Make equal pay.


Body hair, asking for help with chores, saying no to sex, and not wanting children


Working out. I dunno why guys don’t like a strong woman, but there’s a lot of hate for female bodybuilders for some reason


Naming a kid after yourself.


Take charge of a chaotic situation


Sitting with their legs spread. Taking up space. Drink in public. Dress any way they want without be accused of “asking for it” or “attention seeking”, be direct, not smile…


Abandoning their kids

My ex lives life as he wants


Everything but give birth. Well except women are considered chattel by many states so giving birth is actually unacceptable but required.


Publicly proposing/getting on a knee with a ring


Not anymore but when I first got into horror stuff people really had a problem with a girl getting into those types of things. It was weird for guys but even more so for women. It is kind of cool now that people are much more accepting of it then they used to be even if they aren’t also into it.


Having multiple sex partners or flirt with who ever they want!


Pee standing up.


90% of the things men do.


Have their bare chest out in the open in a public place


Be goofy by like, eating tacos and chicken nuggets.


Cursing is frowned upon when either gender does it, but it is more expected and accepted when men do it.




Being successful.


Being highly competitive or trying to one-up others.
Source: boredpanda.com

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